How to Become a Cloud Architect
Any IT professional is familiar with the term "cloud computing". In the IT world, cloud computing refers to a network of remote computer systems — servers, storage databases, networks, software and hardware — without direct active user management. Companies can use cloud networks for a variety of tasks: data storage and analysis, file sharing, network security and other features. Among other cloud professonals, cloud architects play a pivotal role in overseeing critical cloud responsibilities.
Cloud architects are in high demand these days, given the steady rise in the emphasis on cloud computing technology for companies of all sizes. For better scalability, mobility and security, more and more companies have migrated to cloud services. An increased migration to cloud systems means a heightened need for cloud professionals, including cloud architects, to handle new responsibilities. Sometimes, cloud architects can also play an internal role in educating technical and non-technical employees in adopting cloud computing best practices.
To remain competitive and keep data safe, many organizations are working to onboard cloud computing solutions across their teams. To make the cloud integration process smooth and uneventful, these same companies often look to cloud architects for help.
What is a cloud architect?
Cloud computing architecture includes many different components of cloud computing, including front-end and back-end platforms, encryption and cloud-based delivery. Together, these segments make up cloud computing engineering, and represent some of the major responsibilities of a cloud architect.
A cloud architect has a firm understanding of all things cloud architecture — the advantages, the disadvantages and the major features. They'll count on skills in cloud design and optimization when creating a cloud network structure built to last. Cloud architects will work with other members of an information technology team, including DevOps engineers and developers, to guarantee that the correct technology or technologies are assembled and used.
What are the responsibilities of a cloud architect?
As a cloud architect, you might be asked to handle multiple responsibilities on a daily basis. Depending on your role, your responsibilities as a cloud architect can include:
- Assessing applications, hardware and software systems and oher cloud-related solutions
- Leading a team of cloud experts in cloud strategy, infrastructure creation, deployment and optimization
- Identifying best practices for organization-wide cloud use
- Selecting reasonable cloud suppliers and vendors
- Handling risk management strategies and regulating the cloud framework
- Overseeing cloud-related expenses and financial planning
If you're a cloud architect that works as part of a large organization, you might only handle a few key responsibilities. On the contrary, cloud architects who service smaller organizations might have to handle more cloud-related tasks.
What skills do cloud architects need?
Before you can begin a career in cloud architecture, you'll need to develop skills in a few key areas. The skills you might need as a cloud architect might include:
- Navigation of operating systems like UNIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows and Ubuntu
- Comprehension of systems administration, including HTTP, TCP/IP, IP addresses and DNS
- Cloud security protocols, including firewalls, encryption, and two-factor authentication
- Data storage capabilities using bucket storage, Relational Database Service (RDS) or Hadoop clusters
The skills you'll need as a cloud architect will widely depend on your employer and your organization's size and structure.
How do I become a cloud architect?
There isn't one single way to become a cloud architect. Instead, you can follow several different paths to a professional career in cloud computing. Reerence some of the major steps to becoming a cloud architect below.
1. Obtain the right education
Today, a vast majority of cloud employers prefer candidates with education in the right cloud technologies. For cloud architects, this often means finding cloud architect candidates who are already familiar with AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and other platforms they might use once employed. All of these capabilities start with the right education.
For some aspiring cloud architects, the right education might be a traditional four-year degree from a university program. However, today more aspiring professionals are trading expensive, lengthy four-year degree programs for accelerated education — like a Cloud Computing Bootcamp that teaches IT fundamentals in weeks, not years. With the right education — no matter where your education comes from — you're well on your way to a career in cloud architecture.
2. Build your hard and soft skills
Cloud architects work with a wide variety of individuals, from C-suite executives to IT specialists to end-users. To communicate with all involved parties and execute on all other tasks, cloud architects rely on a variety of hard and soft skills. Before you can begin a career in any cloud role, you'll need to spend time building those same skills. In particular, look to build skills in programming, interpersonal communication, data analysis and reporting, data storage and cloud engineering.
3. Gain real-world technical expertise
In addition to your education and skills in cloud computing, you'll also need real-world experience on your resume in order to qualify for most cloud positions. In some cases, your education provider, bootcamp, apprenticeship provider or university can offer you the real-world experience you'll need. In other cases, you might be responsible for identifying your own opportunities for real-world technical expertise.
Before beginning your role as a cloud architect, you might need to acquire real-world expertise with specific operating systems, devices, cloud providers and other cloud architecture foundations.
4. Acquire the right cloud architect accreditation
As is the case with practically any occupation in IT, there are certifications you can acquire to improve your insight and show employers that you have the skills and the experience they need. Look for certifications that teach the capabilities you'll need in your next cloud role. Prioritize certification programs that are recognized in your industry, and can help separate you from other applicants when it comes time to apply for jobs.
Why should I become a cloud architect?
There are so many reasons to become a cloud architect. Reference a few of the main benefits to a cloud profession below.
Expanding job market
The cloud computing landscaps is expanding. By the end of 2022, 60% of companies will have migrated their information over to the cloud. The expansion of the cloud space has created a parallel need for cloud professionals, who can help provide organizations with the insight and the assistance they need to make best use of their respective cloud provider.
In 2021, the cloud computing market was valued at $368.97 billion; that same market should reach a $1.5 trillion by 2030. The cloud computing market has expanded behind growth factors that include digital transformation and development among venures that use cloud service providers.
The popularity of the cloud data storage and navigation model is quickly expanding. To keep up with the escalating demand for cloud systems, companies around the world are quickly onboarding new IT talent, including teams of new cloud architects.
Openings for work as a cloud architect are abundant. If you have the right skills and the right experience, you can find employment as a cloud architect in virtually any industry.
A cloud architect is one of several roles in the cloud industry that can pay six figures, as long as you have the right amount of experience. With sufficient training, active certifications and skills, cloud architects can acgieve an average salary of $196,336.
How do I get started in cloud computing?
Today is a great day to take your cloud computing career into your own hands. To fulfill the cloud architecture position you deserve, you'll first need to understand some important fundamentals in cloud concepts like programming, security and systems analysis. That's where our Cloud Computing Bootcamp can help: in 24 weeks, you'll level up your cloud skills while learning from some of the world's best cloud computing experts. Connect with our Admissions department to get started today.